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GMSR receives a sixth California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award for its work in Estate of Duke (2015)

GMSR proudly congratulates Robin Meadow, Robert Olson, and Jeffrey Raskin for receiving the prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award (CLAY) for their role as the petitioners’ counsel in Estate of Duke (2015) 61 Cal.4th 871. This is the sixth CLAY award for the firm. This year there were 21 CLAY recipients chosen from several hundred cases for their impact on the law.

In Estate of Duke, GMSR successfully represented two charities before the California Supreme Court, convincing the Court to chart a new course in the interpretation of wills. It held that courts have a power that they did not have before in California: to change a will to correct a mistake. Disapproving its own precedent and aligning itself with a recent trend in the law, the Court departed from a doctrine that courts have followed since the first Act of Wills in 1540.

Robin Meadow, lead counsel, said: “We were grateful to have the opportunity to persuade the Supreme Court that it should help ensure the fulfillment of people’s last wishes as they actually intended. This change in the law is particularly important for those most likely to make the kind of mistakes that courts now have the power to fix—those who write their own wills because they can’t afford lawyers.”